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Researchers hope to take new fruit to market

Published by Steve Coleman on February 15, 2012

North America's largest, and mostly unknown, fruit will be the subject of a four-year University of British Columbia research study looking to take it to market.

The research project will look at producing a commercially-viable version of the Pawpaw, a mango-sized fruit that only grows naturally in the Easter and Mid-Western US and the Carolinian Forests in southern Ontario.

Researchers hope to breed a hardier version of the fruit to weed out its short shelf life, the prolific numbers of large, inedible seeds and the low fruit yields.

The project is a joint venture between plant geneticists at UBC and Bevo. Researchers say the four-year study won't include any genetic engineering. If they're successful, Bevo plans to take the trees to market.
Field trials will be carried out concurrently in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley and the Niagara Fruit Belt in Ontario. Both have climates capable of growing stands of Pawpaw trees.

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